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Price Chopper Food Stores has joined forces with Kretschmar Premium Deli Meats and Cheeses and Make-A-Wish Missouri to grant a 10-year-old legally blind boy’s wish for a backyard sensory playhouse. The project was the result of a partnership that Make-A-Wish and Kretschmar established last summer to fulfill three wishes for kids with life-threatening illnesses.
Josh, the 10-year-old, wanted a playhouse filled with items that he could experience and enjoy with limited vision. In response, Make-A-Wish Missouri outfitted a Tuff Shed building with textured walls, a huge keyboard and several other components. All items requiring power employ solar or battery technology and don’t require electricity for operation.
“Obviously, this is a very special campaign for Kretschmar,” said Chuck Gitkin, VP, marketing, innovation and R&D at John Morrell Food Group, Kretschmar’s parent company. “It’s been overwhelming and enjoyable to see the support from our retailers and the local community to make these wishes come true.”
Kretschmar has donated more than $100,000 to Make-A-Wish and is helping grant three specific wishes in 2013 to seriously ill children, including Josh, as part of a campaign called “Legendary Wishes.”
Additional funding was raised at the local level with help from Price Chopper, which sold paper stars at its stores’ cash registers during April for $1 each, with proceeds going to Make-A-Wish. The Kansas City, Mo.-based grocer’s sales generated $20,000. Price Chopper also named a hero sandwich combo on its deli menu in Josh’s honor, with $2.99 of each combo during April going to Make-A-Wish Missouri.
Josh’s playhouse was unveiled last week, with dozens of his family members, friends and medical assistants in attendance at the boy’s house in Blue Springs, Mo. Price Chopper supplied food and beverages for the event, and also presented Josh with oversized cards bearing good wishes from store employees.
“A wish experience provides the children we serve hope, strength and joy at a time when they need it the most,” explained LuAnn Bott, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Missouri. “Josh’s wish for a sensory playhouse will allow him the opportunity to increase his sensory awareness in a fun and active environment for years to come.”
Price Chopper’s 49 stores in the Kansas City metropolitan area are operated by the Ball, Bresette, Cosentino, McKeever and Queen families.